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680 Red Table Dr. Gypsum, CO 81637
(970) 524-3647
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Spay Neuter Month

October is Spay/Neuter Month at GAH meaning that the surgeries are dfiscounted 20%.  Our spay and neuter prices are all inclusive, we decided years ago that we would not subject pre-op blood tests, iv lines and pain medications as "add on option" like many clinics.  We felt they were too important so we incuded them in the price and kept the cost low.  And during October you can save an additional 20%. 

Below is an article about spaying your dog and when is the best time.  You should spay your female dog before her first heat. 

Neutering male dogs has recently come up for discussion amongst veterinarians and the answer is not so clear.  Studies do show overall that neutrered dogs live 19% longer (you can google the study, it was done by the University of Georgia and looked at data from 40,000 dogs over a 20 year period).  But medical reasons for the increased life span may not be so clear.  So let's chat about it (hint: I like to talk). 

~~When is the Best time to Spay Your Dog?
Stephen Sheldon, DVM


Well, that depends on how long you want your dog to live and no, I’m not trying to be a drama king. 

I still can't believe my profession has not done a good enough job of educating pet owners and that this is still such a common question.  Before I give you the definitive answer you need to know why the timing is important. 

Besides un wanted pregnancies, spaying your dog at the right time will, yes will, eliminate virtually any chance of her getting breast cancer, the most common cancer of female dogs.  In fact, the incidence of mammary cancer is higher in dogs than any other species of animal and it is three times more common in dogs than humans.  Breast cancer in canines is used as a research model for human breast cancer.

So, if you are not going to breed your dog, get her spayed (which is a complete ovario-hysterectomy) before the first heat or menstrual cycle.  No, you should not let her have one heat before getting spayed; this is a common misconception.  The first heat cycle varies depending on breed and size but you can be pretty safe if you schedule the operation before she turns 6 months old. 

I like to follow the advice of experts and I’ve got a pretty good one to back me up in Colorado State University’s Dr. Greg Ogilvie who is a leading authority on canine cancer.  Dr. O writes in his book, “Managing the Canine Cancer Patient”, that if you spay before the first heat you will reduce the risk of your pup getting breast cancer to 0.05%.  That is less than one in 2,000.  If you wait one heat cycle the risk goes up to 8% (1 in 12.5), and, after the second heat cycle the risk goes up to 26% (or over 1 in 4).  These stats are so important that I made a poster and put it up in all of our exam rooms and on our waiting room bulletin board.

If your dog gets mammary or breast cancer the news doesn't get better either because of what I call the 50/50 rule.  It says 50% of breast cancers in dogs are malignant and 50% of those have spread or metastasized at the time of diagnosis and therefore CANNOT be cured by surgery alone.   This means that if your dog has breast cancer there is a 25% chance that surgery alone will not cure it and your dog will need a combination of radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to whip this nasty disease.  And even then the odds are not so great.

I have mentioned a lot of stats in this article and not all of us are good at math.  So repeat after me: “breast cancer is the most common cancer in un-spayed female dogs and I can eliminate it by spaying before the first heat cycle.” Does anyone still question when is the best time to spay or why they should spay their dog?

Stephen Sheldon, DVM, a member of the Veterinary Cancer Society, practices at Gypsum Animal Hospital.  You can contact him at drsteve@gyspumah.com or by visiting www.gypsumah.com. 
 

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